Recycling waste matter into bricks, concrete

The concept of converting waste matter into bricks and concrete for construction was developed by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Chau, Head of Science Research and Environment Transfer Center in 2003 and by 2006 he and his started work on the project.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Chau and his invention - a brick made from waste

The team of scientists used solid inorganic garbage from waste treatment plants in Cau Dien and Viet Tri and sorted it into three separate categories to make bricks and concrete. They mixed gravel, rubble, nylon, wood chips and porland PCB 30 sand to make zigzag bricks for pavements.

The new bricks containing 26 percent inorganic waste are both lighter than normal bricks and cheaper as well. An environment friendly brick costs VND1, 000 while a normal brick costs VND3, 000.

New bricks can tackle heavy loads of up to 70 kilogram per square centimeter. Similarly concrete is also VND1, 500,000 cheaper than normal concrete.

Moreover, a test conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment showed that the new bricks and concrete when soaked in water leave no color or smell and are environment friendly. The scientists were applauded for their work by the Ministry of Construction who has checked the standards of the products for construction purposes.

The team has transferred the technology to Thanh Nam Construction Company in the northern province of Ninh Binh who will begin manufacturing in the near future and will also offer employment to graduates in the Thanh Nam Colleges. Dr. Chau thinks this to be a productive plan as you ‘Kill two birds with one stone’. 

Chau said the new bricks can be used for building embankments, mounds for anchoring ships and waste cellars which will contribute to resolving the shortage of waste burial land in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Many companies in Hanoi, the central province of Ninh Thuan and other provinces nationwide have tried to contact Chau to learn more about the project, as the products are innovatively cheap and highly practical.

Chau hopes the government will assist him in carrying out the project in many other places. Though many investors are already willing to produce the bricks for commercial gains, Chau wants it used for public benefit as it is a very environment friendly product and a wider and larger scale use of it will benefit society. 

By Anh Thu - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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